Before this recent snowfall, I took an afternoon walk in the woods with the intention of finding some mushrooms. I had my eye out for dead trees and stumps.The path was promising, because of the tree variety and their proximity to the creeks. As I walked past some evergreens I came upon Jackie the donkey, our independent and loveable animal elder, looking solemnly mystical in one of his favorite spots.
He brayed at me a few times, and so I walked ahead a bit. Then, spotted on a dead tree stump:
Fomes fomentarius, commonly known as horsehoof fungus, tinder conk, tinder polypore, and ice man fungus .
A-ha! I was well pleased.
F. fomentarius is an inedible fungal plant pathogen that commonly grows on dying birch trees. Initially parasitic, it stays attached and subsequently becomes it’s decomposer. It is a valuable member of nature’s cleaning system. It also has been used for firestarting, clothing production, and medicinal purposes for thousands of years, and is used widely in Chinese medicine. Some of it’s medicinal properties include:
Blood circulation stimulation
Anti- Inflammatory effects
On how F. fomentarius got it’s ice man nickname:
What a gift of nature! I’m looking forward to making tea from this incredible find.